Snowy Night by Mary Oliver

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Snowy Night                          by Mary Oliver

 

 

Last night, an owl
in the blue dark
tossed
an indeterminate number
of carefully shaped sounds into
the world, in which,
a quarter of a mile away, I happened
to be standing.
I couldn’t tell
which one it was –
the barred or the great-horned
ship of the air –
it was that distant. But, anyway,
aren’t there moments
that are better than knowing something,
and sweeter? Snow was falling,
so much like stars
filling the dark trees
that one could easily imagine
its reason for being was nothing more
than prettiness. I suppose
if this were someone else’s story
they would have insisted on knowing
whatever is knowable – would have hurried
over the fields
to name it – the owl, I mean.
But it’s mine, this poem of the night,
and I just stood there, listening and holding out
my hands to the soft glitter
falling through the air. I love this world,
but not for its answers.
And I wish good luck to the owl,
whatever its name –
and I wish great welcome to the snow,
whatever its severe and comfortless
and beautiful meaning.

 

 

photograph Rose Cook

Wishing you peace on our earth

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Approach The Soul

 

 

Approach the soul as a wild thing

with soft words and gentle tones

slowly

with patience and stillness.

 

Approach the soul as a wild thing

only then begin to hear

 

perpetual silence

 

with sweet accompaniment:

the twang of the breath

the music of the breath.

 

Approach the soul as a wild thing

with soft words and gentle tones

slowly

with patience and stillness.

 

 

poem and photograph from Rose Cook

This divine breath

 

This divine breath           by Johann Herder

A breath of our mouth
Becomes the portrait of the world,
The type of our thoughts
And our feelings
In the other’s soul.

On a bit of moving air
Depends everything human
That men on earth
Have ever thought, willed, done,
And ever will do;

For we would all still be roaming
In the forests if this divine breath
Had not blown around us,
And did not hover
On our lips like a magic tone.

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photo Rose Cook

Mary Oliver’s poem ‘Praying’

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Praying

It doesn’t have to be
the blue iris, it could be
weeds in a vacant lot, or a few
small stones; just
pay attention, then patch

a few words together and don’t try
to make them elaborate, this isn’t
a contest but the doorway

into thanks, and a silence in which
another voice may speak.

~ Mary Oliver ~

 

 

photograph Rose Cook

Gary Snyder – How Poetry Comes to Me

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How Poetry Comes to Me                            by Gary Snyder

It comes blundering over the
Boulders at night, it stays
Frightened outside the
Range of my campfire
I go to meet it at the
Edge of the light

 

 

photograph Rose Cook

In celebration of International Womens’ day

 

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The Lark                       Mary Oliver

And I have seen,
at dawn,
the lark
spin out of the long grass

and into the pink air —
its wings,
which are neither wide
nor overstrong,

fluttering —
the pectorals
ploughing and flashing
for nothing but altitude —

and the song
bursting
all the while
from the red throat.

And then he descends,
and is sorry.
His little head hangs
and he pants for breath

for a few moments
among the hoops of the grass,
which are crisp and dry,
where most of his living is done —

and then something summons him again
and up he goes,
his shoulders working,
his whole body almost collapsing and floating

to the edges of the world.
We are reconciled, I think,
to too much.
Better to be a bird, like this one —

an ornament of the eternal.
As he came down once, to the nest of the grass,
“Squander the day, but save the soul,”
I heard him say.

 

 

photo Rose Cook